The Hunger Challenge – Sept. 21 – 27

We love our food in San Francisco – but there are thousands of people going hungry every day in this city. The average family living on food stamps has just $1 per person to spend on each meal. Want to help? Here’s how:

  1. Participate: Try spending just $3 per day on food or $21 a week, per person. Try it for a week or for just a meal – then write about your experiences.
  2. Create: Post a recipe that costs $1 per person and share it with the Food Bank to benefit our local community.
  3. Donate: Contribute to the Food Bank. Consider contributing the amount of cash you saved by spending only $21 on food for the week. For every $1 donated, the San Francisco Food Bank can provide $9 worth of food to the hungry.
  4. Advocate: Get your readers to take the challenge, too – and urge them to contact their elected officials about hunger issues.
  5. Fill a Plate: Join your fellow bloggers for a volunteer evening at the Food Bank, so you can help put more food on people’s plates.

Tyson to Donate 200,000 Pounds of Protein-Rich Foods, Thanks to the Hunger Challenge!

After seeing a tweet from Amy Sherman of Cooking with Amy about the Hunger Challenge, Ed Nicholson, Director of Community and Public Relations at Tyson Foods, has offered to send up to 200,000 pounds of high-quality, protein-rich foods (chicken, meatballs, lunchmeat, etc.) to six Bay Area food banks. That’s six tractor-trailerloads of the most hard-to-come-by foods desperately needed by food banks!

They will donate 100 pounds of food for every comment posted on a special web page, so please help spread the word. Here’s what you need to do:

1) Go to the special Tyson Foods Hunger Relief page.

2) Read the information about hunger in the Bay Area and post a comment. (NOTE: the format asks for an email address to prevent spam, but Tyson guarantees they will not harvest emails or use them for any other purpose whatsoever.)

3) Tyson adds another 100 pounds of high-quality, protein-rich foods (chicken, meatballs, lunchmeat, etc.) to trucks heading for 6 Bay Area food banks!

Lisa Barnes & Her Entire Family Take the Hunger Challenge..And so does Maria Niles

Hunger Challenger Lisa Barnes, of Petit Appetit, has a great post about her experience at OrganicToBe. Here’s a taste of her experiences feeding a family on the Hunger Challenge:

This was definetely going to be more difficult than I had originally
thought and there are a few things that make this challenge especially
frustrating. The first is that it has to be done at all. Food should be a right,
not a privilege. All individuals and families should have access to healthy
foods, especially in a country where so many have so much. The second problem is having a family. If you were only in charge of feeding and providing for
yourself as an adult you understand your own circumstances and can try to be
more discilplined. How do you tell your child “no, you may not have the other
half of her banana”?

Read her entire post here.

Maria Niles, of PopConsumer, read about other bloggers’ experiences and decided to give it a try. Here’s an exerpt of what she had to say on Day 2:

I get it. I’m hungry and it sucks.

Today I was light headed and woozy. It might be all in my head but right now as I sit here my stomach is rumbling. Plus I’m cranky, as you might guess from the whining that is about to commence.

I suppose if this were my life I might adjust t0 be able to function on this diet
once I got used to it. But I think people don’t. They go hungry. If they have
kids they put more food their way so the kids can make it through school with a
hope of being able to learn.

Read more of Maria’s Hunger Challenge blogs here.

Some Food Stamp Facts

• The majority of individuals and families utilize the Food Stamp Program in order to get themselves back on their feet.
• The average time a household is in on the Food Stamp Program is nine months.
• To be eligible for food stamps, households, except those with elderly or disabled members, must have gross incomes below 130 percent of the poverty line.
• All households must have net incomes below 100 percent of poverty to be eligible.
• More than 1.1 million people in the Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma counties) are living near the poverty line.
• According to the Census, these people are making less than $26,000 for a family of three.
• The California Budget Project estimates that a family needs to make more than twice that amount – at least $53,000 – in order to make ends meet in the Bay Area.
• Time limits for receiving food stamps apply for many able-bodied, childless, unemployed adults.
• Eligibility in the Food Stamp Program includes work requirements. All non-elderly adults receiving benefits who are able to work are required to be employed or to register for employment. Many must participate in work training and job search programs.

Hunger Challenge Featured on The Kitchn, BlogHer and Tablehopper!

Dana Velden writes in The Kitchn:

Several SF bloggers have taken up the challenge, which is to try to live for a week on a food budget of $21. Their experiences are eye opening. The truth is, it’s impossible to feed yourself anything close to a proper nutritious diet on $3 a day, yet many people in San Francisco do. It’s hard to imagine what their lives would be like if there weren’t places like the SF Food Bank to help pick up some of the slack…

Dana, thanks for raising awareness and starting a great conversation among your readers!

Tablehopper Marcia Gagliardi gave a morale-boosting shout-out in her weekly newsletter:

Wanted to point out this cool (and incredibly challenging) thing a group of Bay
Area food bloggers are doing: the ~SAN FRANCISCO FOOD BANK’S HUNGER CHALLENGE~, which means figuring out how to eat for just $1 per meal this week…

Marcia, who is a great supporter of SF Food Bank, listed links to all the partipating blogs. Thanks yet again, Marcia!!

Alanna Kellogg writes on BlogHer:

Have you had your grande latte today? Ka-ching, that’s three bucks. Munch a
small taco for lunch? There’s another. Fed your sugar crash at the company
vending machine? Another. If you were an average family living on food stamps,
$3 is all you’d have to spend, per person, for an entire day’s food. To raise
awareness, money and recipes, this week the San Francisco Food Bank launched the
Hunger Challenge.

Alanna goes on to quote from Hunger Challenge posts on Cooking with Amy, Blog Appetit and The Inadvertent Gardener. Her post is followed by some wonderful, supportive comments by readers. Thanks so much for your support, Alanna!

Recipes from Leah’s Pantry & Petit Appetit Cookbook

Here are some low-budget recipes, courtesy of Leah’s Pantry, an organization committed to improving the lives and potential of people living in economically disadvantaged communities, through cooking and nutrition workshops and events.

Tofu Banana Smoothie
Prep time: 5 minutes – Yield: 2 servings
1/2 c. water
4 oz. vanilla low fat yogurt
1/2 c. (4 oz.) soft tofu, drained
1 banana, cut into chunks
4 ice cubes
1. Place the yogurt, water, tofu, berries, and banana in a blender. Cover and process until smooth.
2. While the blender is running, drop ice cubes into the blender one at a time. Process until smooth.
3. Pour and enjoy!
Recipe Benefits: Tofu is low-fat and rich in protein, and berries provide antioxidants.

Oatmeal Whole Wheat Quick Bread
NOTE: This recipe has some issues. I’ve only left it up on this site because I blogged about trying to make it – Gayle

Prep time: 20 minutes – Cooking time: 20 minutes – Yield: 1 loaf
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Grind oatmeal in a food processor or blender. In a large bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, dissolve honey in vegetable oil; then stir in the milk. Combine both mixtures and stir until a soft dough is formed. Form the dough into a ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
3. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Recipe Benefits:
This is an inexpensive alternative to buying bread! The whole grains in this bread provide fiber and nutrients.

Black Bean Salad
Prep time: 20 minutes – Yield: 12 servings
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
8 green onions, chopped or 1 medium onion, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and diced
1 (4 ounce) jar pimentos
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Combine ingredients, chill, and serve.
Serving suggestion:
Serve this with whole wheat tortillas or brown rice, and you have a healthy, complete, whole food meal! Add broiled chicken breast to create a heartier meal.
Kids might like this to accompany cheese quesadillas.
Nutrition Info:
This recipe contains about 8g fat (monounsaturated from avocados and dressing), 5g fiber, and 5g protein.
Recipe Benefits:
This salad is rich in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and is a good source of a variety of vegetables. It can be easily modified as needed. This salad is good for several days in the fridge.

Hummus and Veggie Wraps
Prep time: 15 minutes – Yield: 4 servings
4 Whole wheat tortillas (large or burrito size) 1 green pepper, sliced
1 Tomato, sliced (1 container alfalfa sprouts – optional)
For hummus:
1-1/2 cups canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. cumin
1. Puree in blender all ingredients for hummus. Refrigerate until ready to use.
1. Spread hummus on tortilla
2. Layer sliced veggies
3. Roll up & eat!
Recipe Benefits:
Whole wheat wraps and hummus are high in fiber and protein, and the vegetables inside provide additional fiber and nutrients

Lentil Soup
Prep time: 20 minutes – Cooking time: 1 hour – Yield: 6 servings
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry lentils
8 cups water
1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons vinegar (optional)
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
2. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.
Recipe Benefits:
Lentils are an excellent source of protein and fiber. This soup can be prepared in large batches and frozen to have a simple, nutritious meal on hand any time.

Here’s a recipe for kids, from Lisa Barnes, author of the Petit Appetit cookbook.

Cottage Noodles from The Petit Appetit Cookbook
Here’s an easy and more nutritious alternative to the standard “buttered noodles.” The cottage cheese provides protein, and the cinnamon and raisins give some sweetness. If making this for someone less than one year, you may want to choose egg-free noodles.
Makes 2, 1 cup servings
½ cup small curd cottage cheese
8 oz. wide noodles
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons golden raisins (optional)
Cook noodles in pot of boiling water over medium-high heat until tender, about 10 minutes or according to manufacturing instructions. Drain noodles, then toss with cottage cheese, cinnamon, and raisins, until combined.

The $20 Shopping List

This is a sample $20 shopping list, courtesy of Leah’s Pantry, an organization committed to improving the lives and potential of people living in economically disadvantaged communities, through cooking and nutrition workshops and events. Here are sample meals that could be made from the list:

Instant Oatmeal, Banana, Milk
Lunch: Peanut Butter on Whole Wheat, Carrots, Apple
Dinner: Brown Rice, Black Beans and Tomatoes, Broccoli :

Fruits and Veggies: Banana, Carrots, Apple, Tomatoes and Broccoli
Protein: Milk, Peanut Butter, Black Beans
Healthy Fats: Peanut Butter
Whole Grains: Oatmeal, Whole Wheat Bread, Brown Rice

Blog Appetit Fights Hunger

Faith Kramer of Blog Appetit has signed on to create recipes that will help low-income people eat healthier and stretch their food dollar farther. Here’s how she’s taking action:

I’ve begun planning my menu and recipes and I’m so jazzed to be able to help like this.

My plan is to “source” each meal independent of food bank offerings, but include typical things such as peanut butter and carrots so if your clients have these things, so much the better.

I’m doing a day’s menu (although that could change) and each of the three meals will be sourced from a different outlet to demonstrate shopping pluses at each.

Breakfast will be from Safeway — where 2 for 1 deals make the difference since breakfast usually means more packaged foods.

Lunch will probably be from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s or a produce market or the like where I’m hoping to find seasonal produce for a soup.

Dinner will be from somewhere low income people often shop that has good deals on meat for the stew.

My menu will will have lots of seasonal veggies and not feature anything but fairly popular seasonings so there will be nothing esoteric to buy.

I am also trying to balance the healthiness and inexpensiveness of “scratch” cooking with the convenience of processed foods.

Thanks, Faith!

Recipe Development Tips

When you’re creating $1 per serving recipes, here are some ingredients you might consider. These items are often available to Food Bank Clients:

  • Carrot Pieces. These are what’s left over when “baby carrots” are whittled out of regular-size carrots. They’re chunks about 2-3 inches long – and the Food Bank gets a lot of them!
  • Onions. Whole onions. Nuff said.
  • Cabbage. Regular green heads of cabbage, usually either too gigantic or too small for grocery stores.
  • Cottage Cheese. At times, we get a lot of this – but many people don’t know what to do with it.
  • Rice. The most popular starch we distribute – but it has been really expensive lately. So if you can figure out a way to stretch it, cool!
  • Beans. Dried beans are also popular, typically pinto beans.

Cooking with Amy – Amy Sherman

Cooking with Amy: A Food Blog: The Hunger Challenge

Cooking with Amy: A Food Blog: Shopping for the Hunger Challenge

Cooking with Amy: A Food Blog: Lentil & Mustard Greens Soup …

Cooking with Amy: A Food Blog: Pasta Fagioli: Hunger Challenge Recipe

Cooking with Amy: A Food Blog: Mushroom Barley Risotto: Hunger …

Cooking with Amy: A Food Blog: Green Pea Pesto: Hunger Challenge …

Cooking with Amy: A Food Blog: Breakfast & Lunch on the Hunger …

The Inadvertent Gardener – Genie Gratto

Planning…and worrying a little…

Making the list

The shopping trip

Hunger Challenge: Day One

Hunger Challenge: Day Two

Hunger Challenge: Day Three

Hunger Challenge: Day Four

Hunger Challenge: Day Five

Hunger Challenge: Day Six

Hunger Challenge: Day Seven

Blog Appetit – Faith Kramer

Blog Appetit: The San Francisco Food Bank Challenge — $1 a Person …

Blog Appetit: What the Hunger Challenge Means to Me and Menus for …

Blog Appetit: Lunch of Champions — and a Pickled Radishes and …

Blog Appetit: 12-Serving Soup Helps Stretch Food Stamp Dollars

Blog Appetit: Chicken Stew Takes the Hunger Challenge and I Get …

Blog Appetit: Asian Sauté and Food Bank Fried Rice — Part of the …

All of Faith’s Hunger Challenge posts on one page

Vanessa Barrington

Vanessa Barrington: SF Food Bank Hunger Challenge: Enjoy your …

Vanessa Barrington: SF Food Bank Hunger Challenge: Cabbage and …

Vanessa Barrington: Hunger Challenge Pinto Bean Soup with Sweet …

Vanessa Barrington: The Resourceful Cook: Spaghetti Frittata

BeenThereAteThat – Gayle Keck

The Hunger Challenge: Not Going Anywhere, Not Eating That

The Hunger Challenge Day 1: Brasato al Barolo…Hold the Barolo

The Hunger Challenge Day 2: Living in a Food Museum

The Hunger Challenge Day 3: Small Plates

The Hunger Challenge Day 4: Don’t Chicken Out!

The Hunger Challenge Day 5: The Other Soul Food – Scoop du Jour

The Hunger Challenge Day 6: Surreal Food – Scoop du Jour

The Hunger Challenge Day 7: Waste Not, Want Not

Petit Appetit & – Lisa Barnes

The Hunger Challenge: Not Much Food for Thought

PopConsumer – Maria Niles

PopConsumer: The $3 a Day Hunger Challenge

The Hunger Challenge – Day 1

The Hunger Challenge – Day 2

The Hunger Challenge – Days 3 and 4

The Hunger Challenge – Days 3 and 4, Part 2

The Hunger Challenge – Day 5

The Hunger Challenge – Day 6

The Hunger Challenge – Day 7

Learning the Lessons of the Hunger Challenge

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